LONDON (Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell is seeking to sell its stake in the Danish Underground Consortium (DUC), an offshore oil and gas joint venture, in what would mark the company’s effective exit from Denmark, three banking sources said.
The stake is valued at up to $1 billion, according to two sources.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML) is running the sale process, the sources said.
Shell owns a 36.8 percent stake in DUC alongside operator A.P. Moller-Maersk, which has 31.2 percent, Chevron which holds 12 percent, and Danish state-run Nordsøfonden which has a 20 percent stake.
Shell declined to comment. BAML was not available for immediate comment.
The consortium, which started production in 1972, currently operates 16 fields, In 2014 it produced 51 million barrels of oil, roughly 140,000 barrels per day, and 4 billion cubic metres of gas, according to Maersk’s website.
Shell said last week it was close to selling assets totalling $5 billion to cut debt following its $54 billion acquisition of BG Group a year ago.
The Anglo-Dutch company has sold around $12.5 billion in assets since mid-2015 as it tries to reach its target of $30 billion in disposals by 2018. It has said it plans to exit five to 10 countries in the process.
Last September, Shell agreed an $80 million sale of its remaining Danish downstream business, including its Fredericia refinery, to Denmark’s Dansk Olieselskab.
In March 2015, Shell agreed to sell its retail and commercial fuel marketing operations in Denmark to Canada’s Alimentation Couche-Tard.
Editing by Jason Neely and Susan Thomas